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Birkenhead and Krieger to Write Christmas Carol 1941 Score logo
Henry Krieger
Henry Krieger and Susan Birkenhead will write the score for the world premiere of Christmas Carol 1941, to play the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. November 16-December 30. Adapted by James Magruder, this fresh take on the Dickens classic transposes the story from Victorian London to Washington, D.C. on the heels of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Krieger is best known as the composer of Dreamgirls. His other credits include Side Show, The Tap Dance Kid, and the upcoming Romantic Poetry, a collaboration with John Patrick Shanley. Birkenhead wrote the lyrics for the Broadway shows Jelly's Last Jam and Triumph of Love.

As previously reported, the Arena Stage season will kick off in the theater's Kreeger space with the world premiere of 33 Variations (August 24-September 30). Written and directed by Moises Kaufman, the piece concerns one woman's artistic exploration of Beethoven's inexplicable obsession with a simple waltz by Anton Diabelli. The Fichandler Stage lineup will begin with Lisa Kron's Well (September 14-October 14), which focuses on a mother and daughter and their hilarious attempts to tell the truth. Kron will co-star with Nancy Robinette.

The season will continue with the world premiere of Tim Acito's musical The Women of Brewster Place (October 19-December 9), based on Gloria Naylor's acclaimed novel about the personal relationships, hopes, and desires of a group of African-American women who persevere in the face of life's disappointments. Next up, Tina Fabrique will star in Ella (December 28-February 24), a musical about the life, times and music of singer Ella Fitzgerald.

The season's final two Fichandler productions will be Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge and Death of a Salesman, presented in repertory (March 14-May 18). The season will officially end with Charles Ludlam's gothic comedy The Mystery of Irma Vep (May 2-June 8), co-starring Brad Oscar and J. Fred Shiffman and directed by Rebecca Bayla Taichman.

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